ARTH 2198-001: (Variable Topics) Race, Gender, and the Power of Looking

We are often told that we live in a singularly visual age, where most information is communicated to us via some platform, frame, or program. Yet as we are increasingly dominated by the visual, we seem to be learning less and less about how to read, interpret, engage, or resist the visual culture that swirls around us. This class looks to intervene in that trend and will be a beginning investigation into the issues of what is visual culture and how we might define visual literacy. Thematically then, this class will focus on how we see, or do not see, race, gender, and sexuality.

With those parameters, the major questions the class seeks to address are: What does gender look like? Who has historically been invested in particular ideas of “men” and “women?” How do people “know” race visually? How have artists and others attempted to intervene or disrupt these sight lines? Can we remake how we see race and gender? How do different mediums (sculpture, print, film, or digital) affect how we see bodies?

2000-level. No previous art or visual culture courses needed. An introduction to both visual culture and critical race and gender studies.